Man Of Steel

After ‘Watchmen’ I had high hopes for Zack Snyder’s ‘Man Of Steel’ if anyone could put supes back at the top of the superhero tree it was him surely. We were promised so much from the outset, a darker less gimmicky version than the seventies, more action and focus than Bryan Singer’s awful ‘Superman Returns’ but what we ended up with is a bit of a mess, the movie tries to push all the right buttons but just doesn’t quite make it somehow. From the bombastic opening we have to yet again endure the origin story but with added Russell Crowe and his flying horse beast and cod British accent and then it’s all downhill from there really. At times it feels like you’re watching Malick’s ‘Tree Of Life’ with moody shots of planets floating along to over the top orchestral compositions and then at other times it’s like you’re thrust into the world of the ‘Matrix’ with baby growth pods, tentacled robot foes and wild punching bouts on earth and in space. With the exception of Kevin Costner as Clark’s earth dad no one in this film puts in a performance that is worthy of remembering and of the two and a half hours runtime he’s not even in it that much, mostly just in dewy eyed flashbacks as he imparts his wisdom to his confused son. So after a build-up that seems to take forever we are in to the portion of the film that contains all the action and it’s at this point that I wonder if the title of the film should have been ‘relentless throwing of people through buildings’ because that’s basically all that happens for the next hour. By the time you get to the showdown with Zod, which is just two people who can’t hurt each other really trying to hurt each other for ages, I had long since stopped caring. Christ-like references aside and ignoring the stupidity of certain scenes, like after he has learnt to fly catching a bus to his mums house, ‘Man Of Steel’ wants to deliver but suffers from having the Bat boys on board, Nolan and Goyer have attempted to do with Superman what they did with The Dark Knight and failed. With a final destruction tally like ten 911’s making the rubble at the end of ‘Avenges Assemble’ look like a bad game of Jenga, Superman surveys his surroundings and doesn’t give a shit and by then neither did I.

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One Response to Man Of Steel

  1. Man of Steel doesn’t exactly revive a successful template for continuing the Superman story because it’s based in superficiality both in David S. Goyer’s disconnected script and Zack Snyder’s indulgent filmmaking style making the film blend in with typical blockbusters instead of standing above the crowd. The complete disregard for proper character development creates a gaping hole in our connection to the struggles, risks, beliefs, and hopes of this particular interpretation of Superman leaving us only with a technical style that wears off its initially impressive welcome and becomes overwhelming with its relentless pounding action that becomes monotonously repetitive. In an attempt to make Superman have a darker origin and give him a more complex pathos Man of Steel actually does the opposite of its intentions making Superman seem simpler, less charismatic, and pretty standard in comparison to other superhero movies in the competitive market. This is an example of where Hollywood tries to fix a clock that wasn’t broken in the first place attempting to expound on an already well-established story that doesn’t need any changing and so Goyer, Nolan, and Snyder’s admirable, but misguided, creative choices end up becoming the kryptonite that’s missing in the film itself. For those looking for another typical escapist superhero fantasy than Man of Steel will undoubtedly fill your temporary entertainment void for the time being, but those looking for the charming, witty, hope filled Superman that has plenty of fascinating stories that can be told will be found wanting.

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